• Rachel Doyle

Job adverts aren’t the same as job descriptions

Much has changed in the recruitment world and particularly in the last 18 months as talent is short and businesses are working hard to attract talent. It has led some to claim that they don’t even feel qualified for the job descriptions that they are seeing for the roles that they do in their business. So has the job description become increasingly obsolete or is it failing to keep pace with the changes in the workplace and the changing pace of recruitment?




Job descriptions are traditionally pulled together to identify the range of tasks that an employee may be asked to perform during the duties of their role. Jobs evolve over the time that you work within them, priorities and projects come into departments and you may be required to move in a different direction.


Advertising your role on a job board is different to uploading the full job description. A job description is something that you hand over to the prospective candidate once they have applied to the opportunity.


But does it matter if job descriptions don’t match the requirements of the role?


Job descriptions are there to help identify people who are the right fit for a role and to indicate to a potential employee what the expectations are for the role. The job description helps to identify what the typical tasks of the role are and in some cases the essential tasks you will have to carry out.


Job descriptions also detail the essential criteria of the role and will help candidates to identify what they need to have in order to apply for the advertised position. This will include information such as qualifications required for the job and number of years’ experience.


However, how helpful they are is questionable. We see many job descriptions that don’t sell the opportunity effectively enough and to candidates sometimes they are confusing and too long to understand. When you are promoting your business and your open roles you are competing against all of the other competitors in the market place that are vying for talent. You need to find a way to stand out effectively.


Does your job description speak to your target market?


Unless you are promoting a graduate role, you will be wanting your job description to attract the talent you want to be working with your business. However, you need to be able to write your role descriptions in an appealing way. By all means include all of the details around the responsibilities of the role but remember that you have a finite amount of time to remain attractive to a candidate. They have a lot of choice in the market at the moment and if they are actively looking, they’re more likely to react to a job description that captures their attention. So you can guarantee that if you’ve uploaded a lengthy job description onto LinkedIn recruiter that you’re not going to get many applicants to your role.


How do I attract candidates?


Advertising your role on a job board is different to uploading the full job description. A job description is something that you hand over to the prospective candidate once they have applied to the opportunity.


Make it easy to understand


Are job descriptions really helpful to the hiring manager and do candidates understand what they will be required to do for the role?


  • Create engaging details about the company and the role as well as the team that are easy to understand.

  • Make it easy for candidates to identify if the match the requirements

  • Help to repel those that don’t have the right skills for the role


Consider adding some personality to the advert - by this we mean your brand tone, to help candidates to see the type of business they will be working for. Only do this if this reflects your business accurately, rather than the personality of one person in the business. It will confuse the candidate.


Partner with a recruiter


To get the best experience, you want to partner with an experienced recruiter who knows how to write adverts effectively to attract the right talent. They will also know which channels will work best and can help ensure that you are meeting your diverse approach to recruitment by knowing exactly where to connect and which communities will enable them to reach those hard to find cohorts. Work with a recruitment agency who can manage the role advertising for you. They will work with the job advert to create an engaging advert that will help attract ideal applicants for the role. They will undertake the pre screening stage to reject those who don’t meet the recruitment brief and cultural fit of the business, therefore saving you time and money as your resources can focus their efforts on other parts of the recruitment process.


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